A dear friend recently posed this question on Facebook . . . thought I’d post my response as a blog . . .
Hey! I just thought I’d throw this thought out there – even if I probably know the answer… what’s your thought on why does God sometimes wait until the last minute to answer our prayers? Sometimes I just wake up in the morning and the first thing I pray is “Surprise me God!” It seems lately like everytime I have prayed about something it’s not until the last minute that hear from God. Not to be confusing, I am soooo grateful that God has answered, but I worry alot – I know I shouldn’t, but that’s my ‘humaness’ showing. God has recently answered prayer in a big way – I’m still waiting for another ‘big one’ – maybe tomorrow I’ll get my ‘surprise!’ – Thanks for listening Karl!
We invented “minutes” . . . I am not sure that God did. The smallest unit of time that God seems to care about in our lives is “days” . . . maybe hours. The Jewish people referenced their days by certain hours . . .
I think we might enjoy life more if we reckoned it in terms of days as well.
“The clock is a piece of power machinery whose `product’ is seconds and minutes.” In manufacturing such a product, the clock has the effect of disassociating time from human events and thus nourishes the belief in an independent world of mathematically measurable sequences. Moment to moment, it turns out, is not God’s conception, or nature’s. It is man conversing with himself about and through a piece of machinery he created.” – Lewis Mumford from “Amusing Ourselves to Death”.
So most likely God is more concerned with our “days” than our minutes.
Jesus didn’t respond right away at the request to come to Lazarus on his death bed. You might say in that case that He was late. I think that the scripture says that he stayed where he was two more days . . . and while a dear friend lay dying. But you know how that story ends.
And there’s time discrepancy issues. I have a wristwatch on right now. Today, I will be where I have to be based on the information that I get from my watch. I may be simultaneously late by someone else’s watch and . . . on time . . . by my own.
None of us run by someone else’s watch. If we did then there would be no sense owning our own unless we were obsessive compulsive about setting it by say . . . ” a beep on a radio” . . . a former Sr. Pastor that I worked for used to do this every day of life. It made his time right . . . but that is still no good unless everyone else is equally compulsive.
And then there is “timing” which is different from “time”. I have heard Creation called a “dance“. I like the idea. God’s perfect timing is displayed in Creation. Timing is a beautiful thing on the dance floor, in music, sports, comedy. Some people have no sense of timing and they don’t do well at any of these things. On the dance floor, one leads and another follows. Allowing the leader to “lead” is critical to the grace of the dance.
These are all “life” lessons . . . and “spiritual life” lessons.
As I think about it, I am certain that God has spent much more time waiting for me than I have waiting for Him. And I think as well that I have missed some things that He has had for me because I have been “slow” to hear and “slower” to obey.
Long answer isn’t it Karen . . .
Last minute answers to prayer are like the bottom bag of cement in the pile. I used to run cement as a teenager and the bottom bag was always the heaviest . . . because by the time you got to it, it was the end of a long hard work day and you were tired. The guys used to say that we should pick that one up first.
Everything that we misplace, we find in the last place that we look because once we find it, there is no more need to look. And last-minute answers to prayer come in the last minute that we have to wait . . . really every answer is like that . . . they are all last-minute answers . . . because we no longer need to wait.
This is probably not one bit of help Karen. I want God to answer all of your prayers. In my mind, your heart is to serve God and your prayers are selfless. I know that God, in His time, at the last minute will come through for you.
“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
The KJV uses “due season” . . . look that phrase up in a KJV concordance and you’ll find some great verses about God’s timing.
Praying with you dear sister . . .